California Arts Council

State of California

Press Release Detail

April 16, 2014Caitlin Fitzwater

132 California Arts Organizations Receive Competitive Grants from the National Endowment for the Arts

Nearly $5 million awarded to support the arts across California

Sacramento -
The National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) announced today that one hundred and thirty-two grants, totaling $4,848,900, will be awarded to California arts organizations and agencies. Grants for three NEA programs - Art Works, State & Regional Partnership, and Research: Art Works - support a wide array of arts activities across the state.

All of the NEA's grants undergo a rigorous independent review process by national panels of artists and other arts experts, followed by review of those recommendations by the National Council on the Arts, with final grant decisions by the NEA Acting Chairman.

A complete list of California grant recipients with award amounts and project descriptions is available at this link (listed alphabetically by city):

"We are proud of the many California arts organizations who receive support from the National Endowment for the Arts," said Craig Watson, Director of the California Arts Council. "NEA support reaches many diverse communities across our state, from Venice to Arcata, Fresno to San Diego. Federal support for the arts plays a critical role in maintaining California's vibrant arts ecosystem, and contributing to the economic growth and success of our communities."

The California Arts Council received $1,081,400 to support partnership agreement activities as California's state arts agency. This annual grant award makes up one fifth of the Arts Council's average $5 million annual operating budget and is disseminated statewide via competitive grant programs administered by the Arts Council.

NEA Acting Chairman Shigekawa said, "Working in partnership with the state and regional arts organizations is a key element of the NEA's work in ensuring the arts are available to all. These organizations help to extend the NEA's reach to thousands of communities across the country, while also carrying out innovative programming in such areas as education, creative placemaking, and cultural tourism."

The NEA's Art Works grants are the Arts Endowment's primary means of directly supporting the nation's nonprofit organizations and the work they do to bring the arts to communities throughout the country. Art Works grants support the creation of art that meets the highest standards of excellence: public engagement with diverse and excellent art, lifelong learning in the arts, and enhancement of the livability of communities through the arts.

Forty percent of NEA's grantmaking funds are designated for state arts agencies, regional arts organizations, and national service organizations that support the work of the states and regions. In order to be eligible for NEA partnership agreement funds, each state and regional arts organization develops long-range plans that help to position arts and culture in public policy areas such as cultural tourism, community revitalization, economic development, education, and health and human services. Regional arts organizations encourage the development of the arts and support arts programs in multi-state regions and assist the NEA and other funders in distributing programs nationally.

The NEA's Research: Art Works grant category supports a range of research projects that build evidence on the value and impact of the arts, and foster partnerships and information-sharing among researchers. For the first time, these grants will support primary data collection alongside secondary data analysis. Many of the new projects will focus on the health and educational benefits of the arts.

For more information, visit the NEA website at

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The Mission of the California Arts Council, a state agency, is to advance California through the arts and creativity. Members of the California Arts Council include: Chair Wylie Aitken, Vice Chair Susan Steinhauser, Michael Alexander, Christopher Coppola, Donn K. Harris, Charmaine Jefferson, William Turner, and Rosalind Wyman. Learn more at


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